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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I was wondering if anyone has any experience keeping beta fish, aka Siamese Fighter Fish in a planted tank with high Co2 levels.

I've tried a bunch of searches here, and with Google, but found very little info on this.

Are Bettas more tolerant than other fish, or less tolerant, or about the same..

I keep the Co2 in my tank around 40ppm, but am thinking of lowering it back to 30ppm. The reason I had it up so high, is that I had some algae problems, which the higher Co2 corrected, but I'm a little afraid to go back to 30ppm in case the algae comes back.

I rescued a Betta and I have no other fish or shrimps in that tank, as I'm afraid of the high Co2 being a problem for them.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I thought that might help, the air breathing capabilities. I hate how people keep them in tiny containers though.. it's so mean.

Does Co2 hurt fish though, (as in, hurt their scales/skin) or does it just make it hard for them to breath? Another issue might be the soft water.. but, I think Bettas come from the same place Discus and Rams, which means they may actually LIKE the softer water..
 

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Bettas actually come from rather the opposite side of the planet from Discus and Rams, hence the 'Siamese' in their name. And CO2 makes water more acidic, but not softer directly.

I had a DIY CO2 disaster once where I lost a lot of my fish, but throughout the betta seemed perfectly fine. And though they can and do get oxygen from the air, I suspect they still need to be able to expel the CO2 they produce through their gills, so if the surrounding water is saturated with CO2 and they can't clear their excess from their bloodstream then there is still the possibility that they will 'drown'.

Some people run CO2 higher than 30 without trouble, but I suppose that vigorous surface turbulence is usually more necessary under such conditions. But I don't see the point of running CO2 above 30, it's not as if your plants will benefit from amounts in excess of 30, so far as I've read. Might be worth further research for you though. Perhaps best to try and figure out the other causes of the algae problems instead.
 

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But I don't see the point of running CO2 above 30, it's not as if your plants will benefit from amounts in excess of 30, so far as I've read.
Plants will most definitely benefit from CO2 higher than 30ppm. In fact, they benefit from additional CO2 even in terrestial growth, where the CO2 is more than 10X that concentration.

We keep CO2 levels that low because we are afraid of killing fish, but plants can use far, far more CO2 than we ever give them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Plants will most definitely benefit from CO2 higher than 30ppm. In fact, they benefit from additional CO2 even in terrestial growth, where the CO2 is more than 10X that concentration.

We keep CO2 levels that low because we are afraid of killing fish, but plants can use far, far more CO2 than we ever give them.
Yeah, plants LOVE higher Co2, as long as the light is strong enough, and they have enough nutrients. From my own experience, high Co2 on it's own without increasing light+fertz has little or no effect. Then, if you add light, it does do something, but when you add more fertz, the plants grow at least twice as fast, and SUPER lush. I can have my photo period a lot longer too.. In my 2.9 gallon, I have 27watt light (very high light) on about 14 hours a day, and the light is only a few inches off the water. A lot of people will probably tell me this is way too much light, and a far too long photo period, and I admit, if I did things a little differently, the plants might do a little bit better, but so far this combo seems like a great balance for me. I have 40ppm Co2 and I dose Yamato Green every day, Excel every other day and iron every other day.

My Erios, Rotala and Ludwigia are all growing really well, no algae issues. (had really bad algae problems, before U upped the Co2).
My red plants are BRIGHT red, and even some of my rotala has a beautiful pinkish color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bettas actually come from rather the opposite side of the planet from Discus and Rams, hence the 'Siamese' in their name. And CO2 makes water more acidic, but not softer directly.

I had a DIY CO2 disaster once where I lost a lot of my fish, but throughout the betta seemed perfectly fine. And though they can and do get oxygen from the air, I suspect they still need to be able to expel the CO2 they produce through their gills, so if the surrounding water is saturated with CO2 and they can't clear their excess from their bloodstream then there is still the possibility that they will 'drown'.

Some people run CO2 higher than 30 without trouble, but I suppose that vigorous surface turbulence is usually more necessary under such conditions. But I don't see the point of running CO2 above 30, it's not as if your plants will benefit from amounts in excess of 30, so far as I've read. Might be worth further research for you though. Perhaps best to try and figure out the other causes of the algae problems instead.
Oh, lol! Sorry, I should have probably checked to see where they came from.. I guess I had always just thought they were south american.

So after some google research, I found they are from Thailand, and parts of China.

Everything I read about them seems to make them the perfect fish for planted tanks with Co2.. The like slightly soft acidic water, they can breath even in low oxygen tanks, they don't need or even like a lot of current, and they are GORGEOUS!.. Also, they are tropical, so they need water temps higher than 75.. preferably around 80. I have my 2.9 gallon in my bedroom which is always around 80.. I just don't know why hardly anyone does it.. I rarely see a planted tank with Betta fish in it.

What makes it more odd to me, is that a lot of the planted tank culture is from Asia, which is where the Bettas are from, so I'd have though a lot of people would have them in their planted tanks.

Anyway.. I acclimated him slowly, and finally put him in today. I'm watching him closely, and he looks very happy so far.. Like I said, I rescued him from a container that was only slightly bigger than he is, and noe, he's swimming around, "sniffing" everything, picking at my plants, wood, and finding little "bugs" to eat. He's the only fish in there, no shrimps either.. just him an the plants. I'm going to find him a girlfriend if he stays happy in there.

I'll post a pic soon
 

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Oh, lol! Sorry, I should have probably checked to see where they came from.. I guess I had always just thought they were south american.

So after some google research, I found they are from Thailand, and parts of China.

Everything I read about them seems to make them the perfect fish for planted tanks with Co2.. The like slightly soft acidic water, they can breath even in low oxygen tanks, they don't need or even like a lot of current, and they are GORGEOUS!.. Also, they are tropical, so they need water temps higher than 75.. preferably around 80. I have my 2.9 gallon in my bedroom which is always around 80.. I just don't know why hardly anyone does it.. I rarely see a planted tank with Betta fish in it.

What makes it more odd to me, is that a lot of the planted tank culture is from Asia, which is where the Bettas are from, so I'd have though a lot of people would have them in their planted tanks.

Anyway.. I acclimated him slowly, and finally put him in today. I'm watching him closely, and he looks very happy so far.. Like I said, I rescued him from a container that was only slightly bigger than he is, and noe, he's swimming around, "sniffing" everything, picking at my plants, wood, and finding little "bugs" to eat. He's the only fish in there, no shrimps either.. just him an the plants. I'm going to find him a girlfriend if he stays happy in there.

I'll post a pic soon
Apologies if I was mistaken about higher CO2 levels, I'd read that somewhere from what I thought was quite an authoritative source, but you can't always believe everything you read...

I have a betta in my planted Fluval Edge, and no problems there. Although bowls are not good they can do very well in nano tanks. You can't add a female betta though! Unless you have a very large tank with lots of cover, for the male will quickly kill it. It will either kill it if the female isn't in spawning condition, or it will spawn with it and then kill it as it subsequently tries to chase it away and as the female obviously can't escape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Apologies if I was mistaken about higher CO2 levels, I'd read that somewhere from what I thought was quite an authoritative source, but you can't always believe everything you read...

I have a betta in my planted Fluval Edge, and no problems there. Although bowls are not good they can do very well in nano tanks. You can't add a female betta though! Unless you have a very large tank with lots of cover, for the male will quickly kill it. It will either kill it if the female isn't in spawning condition, or it will spawn with it and then kill it as it subsequently tries to chase it away and as the female obviously can't escape.
Oh, haha no worries at all! It almost seems like it's different for everyone. Some ppl don't see any difference with more Co2. It's all about balance I think.

Thanks for letting me know about not getting a girl for him.. I had no idea. I though they were okay in pairs, as long as only 1 male. :)
 

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There are some wild-type species of Betta that can be kept together, but generally the pet store are veil-tails and Crown-tails. Those ones don't like mixing genders. Males are not friendly with each other either.

If it was a female only tank, there's a possibility you might get a couple store bettas that aren't too aggressive with each other. But they've been kept alone for long enough that it's not too common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh wow how gorgeous is he! LOVE that blue. What a lucky guy! Your tank looks awesome too
Thanks! Yeah, after all day, he's still bright, happy and active. I think he'll be fine. Yay!!!



He looks happy!

Keep the CO2 within reason. 30-50ppm.
Thanks.. yea, it's at about 40ppm now. I turned it down slightly, so it should run at a steady 35 to 40 from now on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I love the first picture, it looks like he's got a happy dance going on.
Yeah, me too. That was right after he got in there. He was pretty excited.

He made it through the night, is still super happy. I don't think he's going to have a problem.
 
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